Not long ago, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings was widely criticized for the way in which he decided to separate the Netflix DVD-rental business from its Web streaming service. Some customers were confused by the new pricing strategy; and others were angry. But, in this era, things sure turnaround quickly.
In the most recent issue of Businessweek, Reed Hastings is on the cover, with the caption: “The Man Who Ate the Internet” (a title bestowed because of the amount of bandwidth consumed by Netflix and it customers).
As Ashlee Vance writes: “Netflix has more than 36 million subscribers. They watch about 4 billion hours of programs every quarter on more than 1,000 different devices. To meet this demand, the company uses specialized video servers scattered around the world. When a subscriber clicks on a movie to stream, Netflix determines within a split second which server containing that movie is closest to the user, then picks from dozens of versions of the video file, depending on the device the viewer is using. At company headquarters in Los Gatos, Calif., teams of mathematicians and designers study what people watch and build algorithms and interfaces to present them with the collection of videos that will keep them watching.”
Click Hastings’ photo to read more.